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Ask someone how they’re doing these days and, according to health-industry entrepreneur and consumer trend savant, Jan Bruce, they’re more likely to respond with “busy” than “fine.”
And that’s not a great thing. Because “busy” is often code for “I’m stressed and overwhelmed, but I don’t know what to do about it.”
Bruce experienced this in her own life. After building Body + Soul magazine into an industry-leading media venture, she sold the business to Martha Stewart’s Omnimedia, where she then became SVP and Managing Director for six years.
But, something was wrong.
Jan was becoming more and more stressed and less vested in what she was doing on a day-to-day basis. It was taking a toll on her mindset, her health, and her life. So, she stepped down to reclaim her own center, sanity, and health. And, along the way, she discovered something she’d always known but was now in a position to do something about.
She was not alone. Tens of millions of people suffer from the life-stifling effects of stress, and many of the current treatment modalities are either marginally effective or unrealistic in the context of peoples’ lives.
“Two out of three [doctors’] office visits are for stress-related symptoms, but they [doctors] talk about lifestyle changes—‘Oh, you should walk more or drink less coffee or lose a few pounds’—but data show people who are really stressed don’t do any of these because they don’t have the willpower, confidence, time, or knowledge to do them… For example, a thirty-five year old working mother knows she should be getting more exercise, but she hasn’t gotten into the underlying thinking of what makes her so stressed to begin with…Is it she is not able to comfortably leave the office at a certain time to pick up her kids?”
In her words, “stress is the new fat.”
Because, “just like food, the stuff that makes us stressed is everywhere. And, just like being overweight, being overwhelmed can make you feel stuck and, in the long-term, make you sick.”
With that, she set out on a quest to build a better stress-obliterating mousetrap, founding a new online venture MeQuilibrium.com with the goal of leveraging science and technology to help people win the battle against stress and live more fully expressed, healthier lives.
“I started working with a few health professionals [including] a doctor of integrative medicine and a psychologist. Together, we’ve pieced together a program to get to the root of your thinking about stress and starting to change your habits.”
And the results are showing. “Two out of three clients are saying in sixty days that they are feeling less stressed and angry. Sixty percent are feeling more able to focus on problems and take care of them.”
In Bruce’s words, “we intend to own the ecosystem around stress.”
You can learn all about Jan Bruce’s personal journey, the challenges, stories, and ideas, and what she’s doing with her new venture in the latest episode of Good Life Project.
Jonathan Fields is a dad, husband, author, speaker, lifestyle innovator, and entrepreneur who produces the acclaimed Good Life Project web show, blogs at JonathanFields.com, and runs book marketing educational venture TribalAuthor.com. His latest book Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance was named #1 personal development book of 2011 by 800-CEO-READ. He has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, FastCompany, Inc., Entrepreneur, USA Today, People, CNBC, CNN.com, PBS Nightly Report, O Magazine, Elle, Vogue, Self, Fitness, Yoga Journal, and thousands of other places that sound cool, but don’t impress his daughter all that much. You can also check him out on Facebook and Twitter.
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